Warhammer – Vermintide 2: Beginner Guide

November 6, 2022
Check out this guide to get started in Warhammer Vermintide 2!

Warhammer Vermintide 2 is the second instalment of the popular first-person action series where you take part in fantasy battles with four other players. You will need to fight against endless hordes of enemies together with your friends and you can select between 5 different characters each having their own unique abilities.

If you are new to the game then it’s important for you to learn the basics of combat and how to get the best gear possible so you can improve your skills in the game. Fighting against endless hordes of enemies can get very difficult if you don’t know how things function.

This guide will tell you about the basics of Warhammer Vermintide 2.

Beginner Guide

Level system and XP

The most common way to gain XP in the game is by completing missions and each mission will give you XP which will help you level up your hero with the maximum level being 35. Your character will gain new talents after every 5 levels until you reach level 30. This means that you can gain 5 extra levels after unlocking all the talents.

While you are levelling up, you will also unlock careers with the base career being unlocked at level 1, the second career at level 7 and the third at level 12. Apart from that, some characters have DLC classes with 4th career that can be purchased separately.

Apart from completing missions, you can also find all the books: Tomes and the Grimoires to gain even more XP. If you finish a run with all the books then you also gain access to a rare chest which will help you obtain higher-quality gear.

Gear and Gear Rarities

There are 5 different classifications for gear that are differentiated via colours given below:

  • White: 0 Properties and Traits (Lowest)
  • Green: 1 Property and 0 Traits
  • Blue: 2 Properties and 0 Traits
  • Orange: 2 Properties and 1 Trait
  • Red:  2 Properties and 1 Trait with maxed-out values (Highest)

Hero Power and Power Levels

Vermintide 2 calculates damage, stagger and cleave, the aspects used to measure the strength of a weapon through a Power system which is a combination of power that you get through levelling and weapon power. These two are added together to create an overall hero power which is used to calculate your damage and how far you knock things away or how much stuff you cleave using a weapon etc.

The max power level is 650 when you hit level 35 as you will receive 350 extra power for reaching level 35. Since the max power on your weapon is 300, adding those two together will give you 650 power which is the maximum attainable hero power. Power can be boosted further via in-game talents and team coordination however the base maximum hero power caps at 650.

Introduction to Crafting

Apart from obtaining loot through chests, you can also craft gear and upgrade gear upto the rarest quality which is red. This is done via the process of salvaging old gear that you don’t require anymore and it will convert into resources that can be used to further improve your existing weapons.

You can also reroll the properties and traits of your current weapons if they belong to orange rarity or higher. If you have only blue or green gear then you can only reroll their properties. Rerolling is often done through green and blue dust for the properties and orange dust for the traits. Orange dust can be obtained by salvaging orange items whereas blue and green dust can be collected by salvaging blue and green items.

Temporary Hit Points

Temporary Health, also known as THP is the most important to stay alive without utilizing healing items. The THP is determined through level 5 talents in every career and all of them have different ones depending on what type of characters they are. However, all the temp health talents include staggering which means that you only gain THP if you hit an enemy and stagger them instead of killing them.

Damaging for THP is capped at a maximum of 5 temp health per swing which means that if you swing once and hit 5 enemies, you will gain 5 temp health. There are also killing blows that will allow you to gain temp health based on the health of the enemy that you kill. For example: If you deliver the final blow to a Clan Rat then you won’t gain much health however if you kill an Elite, Chaos Warrior or Monster then you will gain much more health.

Last but not least are getting CRITS and headshots to gain THP which will give you 2 temp health whereas CRIT headshots will give you 4 per attack. These are only applicable to melee attacks however Huntsman has a talent where you can gain CRITS and Headshots for ranged attacks.

Every career has a third option called Heel Share which means that if you heal with an item then it will heal everybody around you however you cannot make temp health using this talent. It can be used to clear multiple wounds using a single potion or for healing wraps.

Temp Health is displayed as white health on your bar and can be gained very quickly but the downside is that it decays quickly as well. Make sure to set up your temp health according to the weapon that you are using.

Damaging your enemies to gain THP is best done by using a faster weapon such as Saltzpyre’s Rapier as it will allow you to make temp health quickly even though you only get 5 per swing. Killing Blows for temp health can be dealt with by using weapons that can deal a lot of damage such as Sword and Daggers, Glaive or Bardin’s Cog Hammer.

Finally, CRITS and Headshots can be done by using weapons that easily headshot enemies and are generally fast such as Dual Swords. Certain enemies in the game will affect the amount of temp health that you can make and to counter it, you can use Boon of Shallya which can increase all the healings received by 30% and works for temp health as well. Similarly, if you are on a team with Sister of the Thorn, you can make 25% extra healing that also affects temp health. Both of these effects can stack resulting in 55% extra healing

Downs and Death’s Door Mechanic

In case you manage to die during a mission while playing on the difficulty of champion or higher then you will see everything has turned grey after being revived by a teammate. This is called being grey, having a wound or having a skull depicted by the little skull icon near your health bar.

This means that if you go down again then you will be permanently dead until you respawn. Using healing items can help you heal those wounds with the healing drafts being an easy way to clear a wound. You can also use wraps if you have two wounded people and one of them can heal the other to clear the wounds of both of them.

In case you have an entire team that is wounded, one person can drink a healing draft while staying in close proximity to the team and all the wounds will be clear. It is important that you pay attention to whether anyone on your team is wounded or not and then heal that person. However, healing should not be used if you are low on health because you can always make temp health to cure yourself.

Stagger Mechanic and Talents

After you reach level 15, you will unlock stagger talents for that career irrespective of the career that you choose to play. The specific talents that you can find will differ depending on the specific career that you play.

The Stagger system was introduced with the launch of the Winds of Magic DLC and it made the stagger mechanic much more significant during combat as enemies take an increased amount of damage depending on how many times you can stagger them.

Staggering refers to any action which interrupts the enemy’s attack and causes them to flinch which can be achieved through attacking, pushing or any ability that causes knockback. An enemy is only considered to be in the staggered state if their animation reflects it meaning that any enemy who ignores your attack and continues attacking through it, won’t be considered as staggered.

Each time, you interact with an enemy and cause them to become staggered, they gain a stack of staggered which results in increased damage to them for a maximum of 2 stacks. In case an enemy is staggered twice and then they will take 20% increased damage on the first stack and 40% on the second stack. This is commonly referred to as Staggered 1 and Staggered 2 and these values do not combine so you can only deal 40% damage in Staggered 2 not 60%.

Coming to staggered talents that are unlocked at level 15, these talents enhance the Staggered system giving you different options to help you get the most out of your weapons. The first talent is Mainstay which simply increases the extra damage gained from Stagger 1 and Stagger 2 to 40% and 60% respectively. This will give you 20% additional damage on both staggers and is best used on weapons meant for horde clearing such as two-handed swords.

Next is Smiter which makes the first enemy hit automatically considered as a stagger and allows you to deal 20% extra damage as a result. This will be applicable even when the enemy is not in a state of stagger and is best used for weapons that have single-target damage with no cleave like the one-handed axe.

The third talent is Bulwark which allows staggered enemies to take 10% more damage from melee attacks for a duration of 2 seconds. This damage is combined with the stacks of stagger meaning that you can deal 30% and 50% more damage to enemies with this debuff applied. The damage gets further increased to 50% and 70% if you are using this talent in combination with Mainstay. It is best used on weapons with very high cleave and stagger such as shields.

The fourth talent is Assassin which makes an enemy hit with a headshot or critical hits considered in staggered 2 even if they are currently not in any state of stagger. It is best used on high CRIT chance weapons or weapons that are used for headshots such as Rapier or Dual Daggers.

Last but not least is Enhanced Power which increases your total base hero power level by 7.5% and it is calculated before other buffs are applied. It is best used in careers where you are trying to reach a specific breakpoint for their ranged weapons. This is because Enhanced Power is the only talent that affects the damage of the ranged weapons and isn’t much use for melee weapons as it gives less overall damage than Mainstay.

Potions and Potion Traits

There are three different types of potions that will boost your combat effectiveness in different ways depending on the potion that you find. The blue potion which is the potion of speed can boost your base attack speed as well as the movement speed for the duration of that potion.

The yellow potion called the potion of strength boosts the amount of damage that you deal whether it is melee or ranged for its duration. All the attacks that you deal with will become shield-breaking during this time meaning that they can instantly break the wooden shields used by the enemies.

Last but not least is the purple potion which is the potion of concentration which increases the rate at which your career ability or ultimate ability gets recharged.

You can only carry one of these potions at a time in your fourth inventory slot which is also the inventory slot where you can store the Grimoire. It is worth noting that you cannot carry both of these items at the same time so make sure to communicate with your teammates to decide who will be carrying the Grimoire and the Potions.

The traits of your charm are dedicated to each of these three potions and offer various boons depending on which trait you select. There are simpler options such as increasing the duration of potions or adding a chance to not consume your potion when using it. Apart from them, there are also more interesting options such as gaining the effect of all three potions at once or the ability to share the potion’s effect with your teammates.

Many people often wonder when they should drink their option and the answer depends on the situation that you are in and the circumstances surrounding it. You should try not to use your potions reactively but proactively meaning that you should use them before something bad happens to you and to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you decide to use your potions reactively then chances are that you will end up using it too late to either save yourself or your team from doom.

Roles of a Team

Since Vermintide 2 is a team-based with many different careers to play, the normal roles of Damage, Tank and Support characters are not applicable here. Despite being a character-based game, every character is expected to be a damage dealer and there are no support or healer roles.

However, there are still roles that can be assigned to each career such as:

  • Horde Control: Focuses on killing and controlling large hordes of enemies.
  • Elite Control: Focus on eliminating elites before they turn into a significant threat
  • Special Control: Focus on killing specials before they can overwhelm your team
  • Boss Control: Focus on damaging and controlling bosses and lords as fast as possible
  • Tank: Drawing the aggro of large amounts of mobs to keep them distracted
  • Utility: No specific job except doing whatever is required to keep the team alive

Despite having these roles, it is hard to categorize a single role to a particular career as some of them are designed to play a specific role whereas others have the potential to fill different roles which are usually determined by which weapons you are using on them. For example, a Mercenary with Sword, Shield and Handgun might look like a good tank but a Mercenary equipped with Sword, Mace and Repeater Handgun might work better as Horde Control or Elite Killer instead.

Make sure to take a look at the weapons available before choosing a specific role as well as the characteristic of each weapon to get an idea about their best use case. Since there are only 4 players in each match, some of your teammates will need to double or triple their roles to cover all the roles.

That’s everything that you need to know about the basics of the game!